FFG, a regular commenter, has suggested as a working definition of torture:
Anything that causes permanent physical or psychological damage.
It strikes Econo-Girl that that definition is a bit loose. After all, it applies to junior high gym class as well as waterboarding. To be honest, Econo-Girl has stayed away from defining torture because it's gross to think about. And I don't want a discussion here about pulling fingernails.
How about adding: Or leading a subject to believe that serious bodily injury will take place if they don't cooperate.
Of course, that would fall under the category of permanent psychological damage.
Or threatening the physical safety of family members or loved ones.
Same comment as above. Let's hear what you guys think. Econo-Girl seeks to host a dialog.